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Subject: looking for light games for non-gamers rss

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alex ray
United States
South Carolina
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I like nice solid games like Puerto Rico and Agricola, but most of the people I'm playing with are non-gamers, and the games they enjoying the most:
-incan gold
-coloretto
-high soceity

so I'm looking for: short games (30 min) is max
: 4 and more players
: fun to play
: if possible high replayability factor
: simple rules
I would appreciate any inputs
thanks in advance
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The only games in my collection that even remotely qualify are

San Juan
Carcassonne
Alhambra

All can play four, and of the "easy" games, have re-playability.
I figure most "light gamers" are those that haven't played good games yet.
A wonderful opportunity indeed.

Best of Luck
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Billy McBoatface
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Lexington
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If they like High Society, that's great news. Auction games are fun.

If you want another auction, try Felicity: The Cat in the Sack. It's short and fun, but a little bit chaotic. Ra is a more strategic auction game, but it's a little longer than you want - most games of Ra seem to take about 45 minutes.

Otherwise, h'mmm, the 30 minute restriction is a killer. Most 4 player games take longer than that. Settlers would be good for anybody who likes the games you list, but it's long for a gateway game - 90 minutes is typical if your group gets into the haggling. Ticket to Ride is almost always 45 minutes or more, also.

Maybe you can stretch the length of the game a little bit?
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Isaak
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Citadels is a good gateway game, though, as stated, will probably go over 30 minutes. If you can push it, I also recommend Bohnanza--lots of interaction, trading, and not too hard to win even on your first time.
Guillotine is popular, though could be almost too light.
The Great Dalmuti is a fun, easy card game that I learned with a regular playing card deck, but find worth the money for the art and instruction.
Good luck finding a 30 minute game for 4 people, frankly...it takes 30 minutes for most four player games to even deal out the cards...
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Craig Somerton
Australia
North Ryde - Sydney
NSW
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Some of our favourites are:

Saboteur
Co-operative, bluffing card game where you play dwarves digging for for gold. But one of the party is a trying to sabotage efforts. Exceptional fun for 3-10 players and inside your 30 min limit. And it's super cheap!

For Sale
Really simple, yet immensely fun auction game that handles up to 6 players easily. Well inside your 30 min limit.

Citadels
Citadels will likely go beyond 30 mins, but it's worth the extra time for the variable player roles.

All three are small, cheap, card games that are very accessible to non-players. Basic rules and truck loads of fun.
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Byron Grimes
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Pack & Stack would be my recommendation. Easy to learn, but if you misjudge something, it'll cost, so there's real decisions.

Also, Quoridor if you just need a short game to hold 2-4 players. Deceptively tricky.
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Sharon Khan
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My suggestions, from playing with family and their non-gaming spouses:

Ubongo

A card game like Wizard or Rage

For Sale

Alhambra

Take It Easy

Apples to Apples (non-gamers love it!)
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Jackson Pope
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I second For Sale and Guillotine both great lighter games.

Carcassonne is a great gateway game, but will probably run over 30 mins with four.

One of the games I publish: It's Alive! also fits the bill.

Cheers,

Jack
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Christian Link
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I'll add the all encompasing Pandemic, mostly for its political correctness for non-gamers. (its easy, short, 4+ players, proven good coop game) Coop isn't everyone's thing though as its unusual for mainstream boardgames.

My second is Acquire as it is also politically correct for non-gamers. (its easy, short, 4+ players, and also a proven good game) Alas, the theme may be too bland for some.

If your group is getting frisky for more and everyones willing to provide a little more effort as far as rules go, then I suggest Illuminati: Deluxe Edition, for its political incorrectness as its saving grace. It can take longer than expected with more players though. (its easy to start, but can be as complicated as you like as you can expand it, 4+ players, you'll learn alot about eachother and have fun doing it) and its back in print!
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Daisy Manning
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Some of what I'd suggest includes:

Aquädukt - 2-4 Players. Takes about 20-30 minutes. Does have a bit of strategy, but the rules are simple and easy to learn.

Animalia - 2-6 Players. Takes about 20-30 minutes. A card drafting game that's really easy to learn, and the artwork is amazing.

If you get them willing to go beyond the 30 minute mark, I'll second these two:

Citadels - 2-7 Players - Takes about 45-60 minutes. This is a great game, not too many rules. The biggest thing in this game would be knowing the different powers well enough. But a great game for non-gamers.

Pandemic - 1-4 Players - Takes about 45-60 minutes. The rules are easy in the game, the decisions not so much. It would be a great game to start with a specific group and work through it together. I would not suggest bringing someone into a co-op once you know how to play it. But the rules for this one aren't too bad.
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.308 Jake
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Jungle Speed
 
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Tim Schwarz
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Tucker
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Liar's Dice
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Leonardo Martino
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Bombay

any of the wings of war series (its up to u making it under 30 minutes )
Wings of War: Famous Aces

I agree with Saboteur while Quoridor in 4 pls sucks, its not about skill anymore instead its all about politics.
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Giorgio Vezzini
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Trezzano sul Naviglio
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TATATA http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/15407 with basic Rules
Woosh! http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/49423 (even though i'm not the right person to recommend it, as i'm the creator :P)

and more famous:

Taboo XXL
Jungle Speed

hope to be useful :)
 
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Doug Faust
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Malverne
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For Sale
TransAmerica
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Pete Lane
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I agree with most of the above... I'd also like to throw in Finca. It's a light Euro that has deeper levels of strategy that gamers can enjoy. Not to mention cute bits!
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Jackson Pope
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Both Liar's Dice and TransAmerica/Trans Europa get my vote too. Good suggestions.

Cheers,

Jack
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Dice bags!
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Tsuro - beautiful components, plays 2-8 in about 20 minutes

Labyrinth - 2-4 players, nice components

Can't Stop - 2-4 players

Ticket to Ride - 2 to 5 players. A little longer than 1/2 hour, but high all all other counts.

Indus - 2 to 4 players

No Thanks! - 3 to 5

Mummy Rummy - 2 to 5

Qwirkle or Qwirkle Cubes - 2 to 4

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Tony Ripley
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First I have to apologize for not getting this game submitted to BGG yet...but,
Scarabs & Scorpions was designed for just this type of situation. We've played it at home, on Scouting camp-outs and it has played well at a few conventions (ImagiCon 2009 and PlayOnCon 2) that I have managed to get to and demo with.

info here (for now - really I will get it submitted, with 2 other games!)
www.gamealogical-institute.com/games

Onward,
Tony
 
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Tony Ripley
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indigopotter wrote:
Tsuro - beautiful components, plays 2-8 in about 20 minutes

Labyrinth - 2-4 players, nice components

Can't Stop - 2-4 players

Ticket to Ride - 2 to 5 players. A little longer than 1/2 hour, but high all all other counts.

Indus - 2 to 4 players

No Thanks! - 3 to 5

Mummy Rummy - 2 to 5

Qwirkle or Qwirkle Cubes - 2 to 4


Indigo, great list. I actually played most of these.
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Tony Ripley
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sting7ray wrote:

I like nice solid games like Puerto Rico and Agricola, but most of the people I'm playing with are non-gamers, and the games they enjoying the most:
-incan gold
-coloretto
-high soceity

so I'm looking for: short games (30 min) is max
: 4 and more players
: fun to play
: if possible high replayability factor
: simple rules
I would appreciate any inputs
thanks in advance


Alex, this is an interesting dilemma that, ironically, we face in our "gaming" MeetUp group. There are folks who define themselves as Gamers (big "G") meaning they are serious about their games and not too much fans of quick or random games that have too much luck. The other part of the group seems to be those who are gamers (little "g"). For them it is more that the games are the vehicle for getting together and enjoying social time with the "unknown fun" that the games can provide.

Because of this we have a shorter Friday game night more for "little g" group and a longer Saturday session for the "big G" group. Hopefully we'll get some good exposure in both directions.

What are your circumstances for playing with these non-gamers?
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Mystery McMysteryface
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Again, lots of people listing games way longer than 30 minutes!! shake

I've tried to come up with some titles not yet mentioned that fit your criteria:

Hey, That's My Fish!
Aquarius
Clocktowers
Rat-a-Tat Cat
Sleeping Queens

Most are simple card games and children's games. It is hard to fit the 30-minute time limit!!

There are more options for over 30 minutes!!
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John W
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For Sale is a slam-dunk for your criteria.
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Barry
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Wasabi! might be a good one to try.
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Mad Halfling
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There is also a card game of the labyrinth BG mentioned before Labyrinth: The Card Game that is cheap and a good quick alternative for non-gamers. Alternatively, if they get into carcassonne and you can get them to play a longer game, Ticket To Ride would be a good investment as not only is it a good entry game for non-gamers, it can also be played at a much more hardcore level by more experienced players. I would personnally recommend the Ticket to Ride: Europe version.
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